Orphans of Orpheus

stjohncoltrane200Christopher has a lot of friends who play music, and he has a keen interest in it. Though he likes other kinds of music, from Rap to Opera, the 3 main musical interests of his are Jazz, Blues, and Country. Sometimes they overlap, like his friends in Chet Bakersfield, a band that plays Jazzy Country. Crash, another friend of Christopher’s, plays in the country/blues band: Crash and the Head-On Collusions. They are not very good, and that’s an understatement, but they occasionally perform on street corners of vacant lots, at least until they are chased away by all of the authorities, when they are finished boasting about how they blackmailed the sergeant at arms into leaving his post. They once performed at Dagny’s Open Mic Thursday, but were permanently banned. They are hopeful of staging a comeback, and are circulating a petition. If you are asked to sign it, RUN!

If you like Blues, you might consider The Friends of Dorothy. Jeff plays harmonica, and Dorothy plays keyboards. She is more familiar with Ludwig Van and Debussy, but Crash has been revealing the secrets of playing Blues to her, and she catches on quickly. Jeff can play cross harp and slant harp, but for some reason he can’t quite grasp straight harp — not that there’s anything wrong with that!

Then there is his friend Ricardo Peligro who plays Latin Music, sometimes with his amigo, Pablo San Pablo. They have a duo that sometimes expands to a full size ensemble called Ricardo Peligro Y Los Peligroso Pelícanos. Pablo rubs a Fanta bottle with a stick, to get a kind of pianissimo guiro effect. He likes to think of himself as the Pablo Picasso of pianissimo percussion, and always wears a beret — raspberry beret, the kind you get in a second hand store. Ricardo plays tenor saxophone, flute, and conga drums. If you need more cowbell — and who doesn’t? — Ricardo will provide it. Rumor has it that as a teenage saxophone prodigy he was whisked down to a little studio on Melrose Avenue to play on the original recording of “Tequila” but he can’t talk about it, because he signed an NDA.

If you have a craving for heavenly female voices, then you might enjoy Ann Tenna & the Baltimore Aerials. Crash has been trying to crash their party, but they don’t care for his voice. They might consider him if he had a decent tenor voice to balance out his baritone. If this ever happens, and it is highly doubtful that it will, it will be called The Mamapapas, and their first order of business, after coming for you and freaking out in a “Moonage Daydream” will be their cover of “California Dreamin'” complete with a flute solo.

Christopher actually does “play” saxophone, but he doesn’t care to discuss it, and will vehemently deny it if questioned. He is studying with Paul Perez, who is the best saxophone teacher west of the Alleghenies, and Christopher plays in the 6:30 to 7:30 PM band every Tuesday at Temblor. He calls this group The Wood Shredders, though truth be told, they do more wood shedding than wood shredding at this point. To John Calo, the leader of this group, it is known as the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop Beginner’s Ensemble, but The Wood Shredders has more pizazz!

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